Reflection Cube

Three-dimensional thoughts

Tag: Stereotypes

stereotypes, uniqueness, stars

Stereotypes: Part 2

This is the second part in Reflection Cube’s series Stereotypes.

If you haven’t read Stereotypes: Part 1, feel free to check it out here.

 

Stereotype #5: Depressed individuals are weak or self-focused.

person resting in bed, cuddling cat

Photo by Chris Abney on Unsplash

There’s an unhealthy stigma – which is only beginning to dissolve – in our culture that says a depressed person is a weak person.

Depression, like any illness, happens to the best of us – to the strong and weak alike. Depression typically involves biochemical changes in the brain (though this is not the only factor in depression). Wacky neurochemistry is a monster too powerful for even the hardiest spirit to combat alone.

So a depressed individual is not weak. In fact, significant mental strength is drawn upon by persons who fight and survive depression (make it out alive).

Regarding the “self-focused” accusation frequently thrust upon depression sufferers:

In order to recover – or at least prevent themselves from sinking deeper – depressed individuals may (and, generally, should) be compelled to concentrate on their own needs for a time, so it follows that they might come across as a little “self-focused”, but depression is rarely (if ever) an attention-seeking tactic.

The insinuation “You’re just trying to get attention” is made by those who have never experienced depression, or perhaps never experienced it in the utterly debilitating and overwhelming way that many individuals do.

This is one of the most excellent pieces I’ve ever read on depression:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/8-things-people-with-hidden-depression.html

Also a practical, short read on how to express support for a depressed person:

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20393228,00.html#how-to-show-you-care-2

 

Stereotype #6: Physically attractive (by society’s standards) women have below-average intelligence.

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Photo by Gianandrea Villa on Unsplash

The assumption here may be, I suppose, that if you’re attractive, you must be vain and seriously obsessed with maintaining an attractive appearance. You obviously spend too much time in the mirror (and, therefore, less time reading or learning).

There seems to prevail – particularly within occidental society – an outlook which precludes the possibility of being both beautiful and smart. You can’t possibly have the time, money, or the genetics, or whatever to be born with or to achieve both beauty and intelligence. You just can’t have it all! If you “lucked out” with looks, then by default, you must have paid the price with another part of yourself (like, brains).

(For my perspective on beauty, click here.)

Unfortunately, this stereotype can negatively influence an attractive woman’s career opportunities – her ability to land a job or progress upward in the workplace.

Women have been fired for beauty.

Another example:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/debrahlee-lorenzana-sues-citigroup-claims-bank-fired-sexy-article-1.178086

More attractive = Less intelligent

Beauty Discrimination in the Workplace

Beauty Discrimination During a Job Search


There’s no way I can cover all the stereotypes out there, but these are a couple that came to mind. And no doubt, there are countless others that haven’t crossed my mind, which I may be guilty of unwittingly believing and supporting.

What stereotypes drive YOU nuts (can be one(s) you’ve noticed that don’t directly affect you, or something you’ve personally experienced)?

Share about a societal stereotype that you’ve observed or perhaps caught yourself perpetuating. Who knows? You might see it pop up in another Stereotypes post!

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Photo by Jacob Townsend on Unsplash

 

© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

 

Man working out

Misconceptions about Optimal Health

Thin = healthy

When I’ve explained my health issues to friends and doctors, some people have said that I look “healthy” or “really healthy” (though others have hinted at the opposite). There are, I believe, two reasons for this:

1. I wear makeup (and try to apply it fairly naturally, so my skin appears to be healthy and glowing).

2. I’m thin.

During a doctor’s visit earlier this year, one medical professional was appalled at the number and severity of symptoms I indicated in nearly every section of a questionnaire. He asked me how I completed the questionnaire (to verify that I had understood the key and the numbering system and had provided the accurate responses), because on the surface, I appeared “healthier” (according to our culture’s definition) than I claimed to be feeling.

Thin is not always good. Thinness is not automatically a sign of vitality. You can be anorexic, or you can be underweight due to allergies (my story). But I fit society’s (and the medical community’s) image of “healthy”, so some people find it perplexing that I’m not jumping off the walls.


If you’re overweight, you’re eating too much.

Just as thinness is not necessarily indicative of fitness, obesity isn’t necessarily indicative of overeating or poor health (you can be obese and fit). Often, obesity is the result of a micronutrient-deficient diet.

Micronutrients (minerals, vitamins) are crucial for the proper digestion of macronutrients (fats, carbs, protein). Without these micronutrients, a person will be ill-equipped to digest macros such as protein.

Because, in the Western diet, the body is rarely getting all of the nutrients it needs – despite moderate to high caloric intake – it forces the individual to keep eating, in search of more of these micronutrients. As long as the body is craving B6, zinc, etc., the individual will continue to feel hungry, triggering them to eat more food.

Since the American (or Western) diet is frequently ridden with potatoes, wheat, sugar, corn, and dairy – and often deficient in fruits, veggies, and healthy fats – that extra bit of food that is consumed (extra caloric and macronutrient intake) will likely provide little to no extra nutrition that the body is seeking, if it’s pasta, white bread, or donuts. Thus, the person may put on more weight, but not more of the nutrition which helps them to manage that weight.

Simply put, the problem is typically not so much in the quantity of food an obese person eats as it is the quality of that food. (However, when one eats quality food, the point of satiation may arrive faster, so a person will likely end up consuming fewer calories, and the calories they do consume will be processed more efficiently.)

Many individuals with large guts are also suffering from gluten sensitivity, which will lead to a loss of even more of those precious micronutrients.


Overtraining = improved health

While mild to moderate exercise may be beneficial, overexercising can be very harmful to your health, and can actually weaken your adrenal glands.

Some people are born with weak adrenals. The adrenal health of the mother at the time of pregnancy can determine the health of the baby’s glands. If your mother suffered from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, then she likely had weak adrenals.

If you get wiped out easily or always feel tired, you’ll want to stick to light exercise.

Do you have adrenal fatigue? Take this quiz to find out!


You have hypertension because you eat too much salt.

You’ve probably heard your whole life that too much sodium can lead to (or exacerbate) high blood pressure. While this may be true for some, studies have suggested that there is no negative correlation between sodium intake and high blood pressure, but quite possibly a positive one.

In point of fact, salt helps to support the adrenal glands, which are significantly involved in the regulation of blood pressure (keeping it from getting too high or too low).

Weakened adrenal glands fail to produce adequate levels of aldosterone. In turn, low aldosterone levels throw cellular sodium levels off balance. If you are suffering from high blood pressure but craving salt, that can be a hint that you need more, not less salt in your diet. (Note: some people are hypersensitive to salt, so proceed with caution. I also recommend using sea salt rather than table salt, as table salt is often bleached and contains aluminum.)

Sodium – along with other electrolytes (e.g. potassium and magnesium) – is necessary for maintaining alkalinity in the body. If the body is acidic from a poor diet or other factors, then it will start throwing its reserve electrolytes at the acidity to restore a pH balance in your blood. This can result in electrolyte deficiencies, so it’s important to get enough potassium from fruits and veggies, as well as adequate sodium (preferably from a source such as sea salt). Magnesium deficiency is also extremely common today, as soil and water levels have become depleted. A magnesium deficiency can lead to severe problems, as magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body.

Thanks for reading! 🙂 <3


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, just someone who’s done a lot of reading and has had a lot of personal experience with health issues and natural remedies. Please do not treat this information as medical advice.

SEE FULL DISCLAIMER


© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

 

 

The Beauty of “Weird”

 

What is the meaning of “weird”, exactly? What is weirdness?

weird

adjective, weirder, weirdest.

  1. involving or suggesting the supernatural; unearthly or uncanny: a weird sound; weird lights.
  2. fantastic; bizarre: a weird getup.

Taken from www.dictionary.com

The second definition of “weird” is closer to the meaning I’m examining.

It’s the type of “weird” that gets tossed around as label for people and circumstances we simply don’t understand. The “You don’t fit into any of my stereotypes, categories, or boxes” kind of weird.

The “weird” that defies society’s expectations.

The “weird” that most of us are afraid to discover in ourselves…or uncover to the world.

I am weird, you are weird. Everyone in this world is weird. One day two people come together in mutual weirdness and fall in love. – Dr. Seuss

 

If we’re all weird, who decides what’s “weird”? If everyone’s weird – like everyone else – is anyone weird?

I was always fascinated by people who are considered completely normal, because I find them the weirdest of all. – Johnny Depp

 

We are all a little weird. And we like to think that there is always someone weirder. I mean, I am sure some of you are looking at me and thinking, “Well, at least I am not as weird as you,” and I am thinking, “Well, at least I am not as weird as the people in the loony bin,” and the people in the loony bin are thinking, “Well, at least I am an orange”. – Jim Gaffigan

 

Actually, I’m a watermelon.

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking. – George S. Patton

 

Do we want to relinquish our individuality and peculiarity and intellect, and simply resign ourselves to being “normal”? To conform to some invisible, imaginary human being’s predetermined notion of normalcy?

Sadly, many of us consent to portray these false, “normal” images of ourselves to the world on a daily and moment-by-moment basis.

If you look around the room/office/home and ask yourself, “Who here is normal?” how many cookie-cutter clones do you find?

If you do spot a clone, then it’s quite possible that that individual is suppressing something about themselves – something for which they’re afraid they’ll be judged.

I’m not convinced I’ve ever met a “normal” person.

No two minds, faces, personalities, or sets of quirks are alike.

That’s what makes everyone so beautiful.

I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird. – Paul McCartney

 

What is one weird thing about you that you’d be nervous about unmasking to society, for fear of rejection or being misunderstood?

It could be your sense of humor that you’re afraid others won’t find so amusing. It might be your passion for basketweaving, your affinity for citronella, or the way you study your snot after you pick your nose. Of course, there are situations (e.g. the workplace) where it’s helpful to be more mindful of how you’re coming across, so I don’t recommend flaunting certain “weirdness” – such as picking your nose and studying your snot, or wearing citronella perfume – in situations where it would be disadvantageous to your goals in life.

But in general, if you’re afraid to show your weird (i.e. human) side, then you may never benefit from discovering that there are other equally weird individuals surrounding you, and that they would appreciate and accept you for who you naturally are.

Do you snort when you laugh? Don’t try to hide your laugh any longer. (Contrary to popular belief, many people find snorting attractive.) 🙂

Do you like to dress up just because? Stop worrying that others will judge you for not having an occasion to go all-out.

Do you like to wear jeans and a T-shirt to a formal church environment? Let the insecure judge you. Wear what makes you comfortable.

Do loud noises bother you? Don’t be ashamed to excuse yourself from a loud concert, wear earplugs, or express your needs and concerns to your friends. Your true friends will accept you even though you are different from them.

When we loosen up and let people see our “flaws” and abnormalities, we free them up to do the same. If you begin to let down your guard, chillax, and be real, then many other people will be inspired to ditch their own veneers and relax, too. All this time, they each thought they were “the only one”. But you showed them that is not the case.

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I’ll close with one weird fact (of many) about me:

I consider my musical instruments to be my friends. Or children. Kind of both. I can tell when they’re crying, because I haven’t loved them enough, and I feel genuinely terrible for my neglect.

I am considering writing a piece sharing more of my quirks, oddities, and weirdness. Let me know in the comments if you think that sounds interesting (or BOOOOORING). Regardless of interest expressed, I may still post, in the interest of being authentically, obnoxiously weird. 🙂

Until next time, my friends! <3

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© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved.

 

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